Different Waiting Period in Health Plans

A good part of our decision to buy certain health insurance plan depends on the waiting period involved. Know about different types of waiting periods in health policy.
Types of waiting period (1)
Health insurance plans comprise of 2 aspects, the benefits it offers and the fine print. However, one generally tends to only focus on the benefits aspects but it is equally important to know the terms and conditions too. Same is the case with Arav. He has bought a health plan but is unaware of the technical jargons used in a health plan.

After roughly going through the plan, he realizes there is a waiting period for pre-existing diseases. He now starts wondering that is it the only waiting period or there are other types of waiting list too. This article will put light on the different cooling period provided in insurance plans.

Free Look Period

This is one of the mandatory norms included by the IRDA. Suppose you buy a health plan and later realise that the plan was not as you expected and wanted to return it. In such cases, you can return the plan during the free look in the period. A free look in period is for 15 days from the date of receipt of the policy. You can contact the health insurance service provider and give him reasons for returning the policy. The health insurance company will deduct some administration costs which it has undergone and will then refund the balance amount.

The free look in period is like a protection to the policyholder if he feels that the features offered by the agent were different than the plan bought. So, remember to go through your medical policy thoroughly after you get your health policy.

Waiting Period for Pre-existing Disease

Pre-existing disease (PED) is illness/ailments which a person is suffering from before or at the time taking up a health plan. While buying a health plan, you will have to provide details about your health history and current status of health. Always keep in mind to provide accurate information otherwise the insurance company might not reimburse the treatment expenses on the grounds of providing false health information. Plans have a waiting period of 2-4 years before reimbursing for PED. So, while buying a plan, go for the one which has the least waiting period for PED so that you can get the amount reimbursed as soon as the waiting period gets over.

However, any illness diagnosed after buying a health plan is not considered as a pre-existing disease and will be covered by the health insurance company.

Cooling off Period

After you buy a health plan, it is mentioned in the terms and conditions that the first 30 days of the plan, no medical treatment will be covered unless the medical treatment is due to an accident. So, if you buy a plan, the ideal cover starts from 31st day from the issue of the policy. So, it is recommended to pay health insurance premiums on time. Remember if you pay the premiums late, the policy is issued as a new one and the cooling period of 30 days will be applicable again.
The cooling off period varies from 30 days to 90 days depending on different health service provider. But in most of the plans, it is 30 days from the date of issue of the policy.

Waiting Period for Maternity Benefits

Health insurance companies have a waiting period for providing maternity cover. It is not possible that you buy a plan after planning a family. Ideally, it is a period of 2 years i.e. 48 months. So, if you want to buy a plan for your family and you are newly married too, plan well in advance so that all expenses related to maternity cover are covered by the health plan.

Waiting Period for Specific Disease

Few ailments are specified in the plan which might have a particular waiting period. For an example hernia, diabetes may have 2 years waiting period instead of 4 years. This list would include more illness, but you need to read the brochure of the plan to know about it.

Now, that Arnav has known about the different cooling and waiting list periods regarding his medical plan; he is at peace.

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